WINNIPEG, Manitoba — There will be lineup changes for the Bruins against the Jets Thursday night, it’s just not entirely clear what they will be.
With three games left in the regular season, the Bruins will continue to rest some of their players (as they did David Krejci Tuesday in Minnesota), and it is likely that Patrice Bergeron will be the one getting Thursday’s game off. Bergeron and Chris Kelly were the only players not on the ice for the morning skate at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.
“We’re going to make some lineup changes tonight, obviously,” said coach Claude Julien. “Right now I’m going to keep that to myself.”
Julien did reveal some information, though, saying that Kelly is suffering from a back injury.
“He’s obviously a little stiff there,” Julien said. “It’s day-to-day because a lot of those things are muscle spasms, that kind of stuff, so we’re just taking it easy with him. He definitely wouldn’t be able to play today, and that can change quickly there if things go the way they should.”
Julien added that while some rest is required, he wants to make sure the Bruins are still producing the same type of play they have been all season.
“It also doesn’t mean that our team should go out there and cruise and not play as well as we should be,” he said. “That’s probably the thing that I disliked the most about the last game [a shootout loss to Minnesota]. I didn’t think we put out a real good effort against a team that had played a lot of hockey.
“Just because you rest players doesn’t mean you want your team to relax. If you’re going to get dressed and you’re going to play, you’ve got to play hard no matter what. That’s what it means to me.
“We’ve given a lot of rest to our whole team there in this whole month of March with all these games. We didn’t practice much. It was about recovery and maintaining the intensity in the games, which I thought we did a good job, so now is not the time to change that.”
If Bergeron rests — and with Kelly definitely out — that means that Jarome Iginla will be back in. Iginla has missed three of the last four games with a minor lower-body injury. Ryan Spooner would be the other forward in the lineup, the center having been called up on an emergency basis Wednesday. He arrived in Winnipeg Wednesday night around 8, and was on the ice for morning skate.
And with a week until the playoffs begin, Julien isn’t concerned about Kelly’s availability.
“From what I’ve been told, very optimistic about him being ready for the playoffs,” said Julien.